Prickly Waterlily
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Prickly Waterlily
P Native Photo: Radhika Vathsan
Common name: Prickly Waterlily, Prickly Water Lily, Gorgon Plant, Fox nut • Hindi: मखाना Makhana • Manipuri: ꯊꯡꯖꯤꯡ Thangjing • Sanskrit: मखाना Makhana • Tamil: Karuntamarai, மல்லாநி பத்மந் Mallani-padman • Telugu: మెల్లునిపద్మన Mellunipadmanu • Urdu: मखाना Makhana
Botanical name: Euryale ferox    Family: Nymphaeaceae (Waterlily family)
Synonyms: Anneslea spinosa, Euryale indica

Prickly Water Lily or Gorgon Plant, is a floating plant with large (4 to 5 feet across), round, deeply veined, flat leaves. The leaves are "quilted" and have thorns on the surface as well as on the royal purple reverse. The day blooming cup-shaped flowers usually open under water but on rare occasions open above water. They are deep violet with an outer row of white petals. Sharp spines cover the surface of the sepals and stems and also both sides of the leaves. Tender seeds are edible and considered a delicacy in Manipur when added to mashed boiled vegetables, called eromba. In north India, seeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn. These are then eaten, often with a sprinkling of oil and spices.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Manipur.

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